Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Teen killed Gosport lecturer with electric drills and hammers

Southcroft Road
Image caption The lecturer was found dead at his home in Southcroft Road, Gosport

A teenager who killed a university lecturer using electric drills, hammers and knives has been indefinitely detained in hospital.

Dr Barry Hounsome, 54, was attacked in his home in Gosport in October.

He suffered "catastrophic" head injuries as well as at least 35 stab and slash wounds.

The 17-year-old boy, from Gosport, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the killer donned a stab vest and goggles before attacking Dr Hounsome at the house in Southcroft Road, most likely in the upstairs study, on 29 October.

'Pressured by a voice'

Winchester Crown Court heard the teenager, who was 16 at the time, told police he first hit his victim on the side of the head with a hammer before trying to stab him and spraying him with ammonia.

The struggle continued down the stairs and into the hallway, where Dr Hounsome collapsed as he tried to reach the front door.

The defendant told police he then went on to use the drills.

Dr Hounsome died from multiple injuries to his head and torso after a "prolonged struggle".

His killer messaged a friend that day saying he had "done something terrible" after being "pressured" by a voice which adopted the accent of an Eastern European man.

He later called the police, saying voices had made him kill the lecturer.

Image caption Dr Hounsome lived in Southcroft Road with his wife Natalia

Ms Maylin said: "All he could recall was Barry saying 'why?' and he was saying 'sorry'."

She said the police later found "extreme graphic images of killings" on the boy's phone and videos apologising to his family.

Ms Maylin said the plea of diminished responsibility had been accepted because of a diagnosis of "psychosis and/or schizophrenia".

The boy had previously denied a charge of murder but admitted the lesser offence on what would have been the first day of his trial.

'Ferocious attack'

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Simon Hill told the court the teenager had been suffering from "command auditory hallucinations" but had not told anyone.

"Nobody knew that this offence was about to happen or could see that his mental state had declined," he said.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Garnham told the teenager: "You remain highly dangerous."

He said the teenager was "plainly... riven with remorse" over the "vicious and ferocious attack".

But he judge told the court: "The idea of this man being at liberty, not in a hospital, fills me with horror."

He ordered the teenager should be detained in a psychiatric hospital "without limitation of time" under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

After the hearing, senior investigating officer Det Supt Mandy Horsburgh said: "This was an incredibly distressing case for the family of Mr Hounsome and I would like to commend them for the dignity and strength they have shown throughout this investigation."

Dr Hounsome had worked for Southampton and Bangor universities and carried out research into dementia and Parkinson's disease.

A Bangor University spokesperson said: "He was a highly-respected researcher, an excellent PhD supervisor, and a well-liked member of staff, and is sadly missed by all his former colleagues at the university."

Dr Hounsome lived at his property with his wife Natalia, who is originally from Russia and a senior lecturer in global health economics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites